Guinea-Bissau

$name - General

Background:
 
Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system, VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000, a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA after he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003, after only three years in office, YALA was overthrown in a bloodless military coup, and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former President VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation; he was assassinated in March 2009. Malam Bacai SANHA was elected in an emergency election held in June 2009, but he passed away in January 2012 from an existing illness. A military coup in April 2012 prevented Guinea-Bissau's second-round presidential election - to determine SANHA's successor - from taking place.


Government

Country name:
 
conventional long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
conventional short form: Guinea-Bissau
local long form: Republica da Guine-Bissau
local short form: Guine-Bissau
former: Portuguese Guinea
 

Government type:

republic
 

Capital:

name: Bissau
geographic coordinates: 11 51 N, 15 35 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
 

Administrative divisions:

9 regions (regioes, singular - regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali; note - Bolama may have been renamed Bolama-Bijagos
 

Independence:

24 September 1973 (declared); 10 September 1974 (from Portugal)
 

National holiday:

Independence Day, 24 September (1973)
 

Constitution:

promulgated 16 May 1984; amended several times, last in 1996; note - constitution suspended following military coup in April 2012 (2013)
 

Legal system:

mixed legal system of civil law (influenced by the early French Civil Code) and customary law
 

International law organization participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
 

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal
 

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Josse Mario VAZ (since 17 June 2014)
head of government: transitional Prime Minister Rui Duarte BARROS (since 16 May 2012)
cabinet: NA
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by absolute majority vote in two rounds for a 5-year term (no term limits); election - first round held on 13 April 2014; prime minister appointed by the president after consultation with party leaders in the National People's Assembly
election results: 13 April 2014 first round results - Jose Mario VAZ 41%, Nuno Gomez NABIAM 25.1%, other 33.9%; Jose Mario VAZ elected in second round on 18 May 2014 with 61.9%, Nuno Gomez NABIAM 38.1%
 

Legislative branch:

unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (102 seats including 2 seats reserved for diaspora; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 13 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAIGC 47.3%, PRS 31.1%, other 21.6%; seats by party - PAIGC 57, PRS 41, other 4
 

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of 9 judges and organized into Civil, Criminal, and Social and Administrative Disputes Chambers)
note - the Supreme Court has both appellate and constitutional jurisdiction
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Higher Council of the Magistrate, a major government organ responsible for judge appointments, dismissals, and discipline of the judiciary; judges appointed by the president with tenure for life
subordinate courts: Appeal Court; regional (first instance) courts; military court
 

Political parties and leaders:

African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde or PAIGC [Domingos Simoes PEREIRA]
Democratic Convergence Party or PCD [Victor MANDINGA]
New Democracy Party or PND [Iaia DJALO]
Party for Social Renewal or PRS [vacant]
Republican Party for Independence and Development or PRID [Aristides GOMES]
Union for Change or UM [Agnelo REGALA]
 

Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA
 

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU (suspended), CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: none; note - Guinea-Bissau does not have official representation in Washington, DC
 

Diplomatic representation from the US:

the US Embassy suspended operations on 14 June 1998 in the midst of violent conflict between forces loyal to then President VIEIRA and military-led junta; the US Ambassador to Senegal, currently Ambassador Lewis LUKENS, is accredited to Guinea-Bissau
 

Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and green with a vertical red band on the hoist side; there is a black five-pointed star centered in the red band; yellow symbolizes the sun; green denotes hope; red represents blood shed during the struggle for independence; the black star stands for African unity
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the flag design was heavily influenced by the Ghanaian flag
 

National anthem:

name: 'Esta e a Nossa Patria Bem Amada' (This Is Our Beloved Country)


lyrics/music: Amilcar Lopes CABRAL/XIAO He
note: adopted 1974; a delegation from Portuguese Guinea visited China in 1963 and heard music by XIAO He; Amilcar Lopes CABRA, the leader of Guinea-Bissau's independence movement, asked the composer to create a piece that would inspire his people to struggle for independence

Geography

Location:
 
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
 

Geographic coordinates:

12 00 N, 15 00 W
 

Map references:

Africa
 

Area:

total: 36,125 sq km
country comparison to the world: 138
land: 28,120 sq km
water: 8,005 sq km
 

Area - comparative:

slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
 

Land boundaries:

total: 724 km
border countries: Guinea 386 km, Senegal 338 km
 

Coastline:

350 km
 

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
 

Climate:

tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
 

Terrain:

mostly low-lying coastal plain with a deeply indented estuarine coastline rising to savanna in east; numerous off-shore islands including the Arquipelago Dos Bijagos consisting of 18 main islands and many small islets
 

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation in the eastern part of the country 300 m
 

Natural resources:

fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
 

Land use:

arable land: 8.3%
permanent crops: 6.92%
other: 84.78% (2011)
 

Irrigated land:

225.6 sq km (2003)
 

Total renewable water resources:

31 cu km (2011)
 

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.18 cu km/yr (18%/6%/76%)
per capita: 135.7 cu m/yr (2005)
 

Natural hazards:

hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
 

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
 

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 

Geography - note:

this small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying inland

Demographics and Population Development

Nationality:
 
noun: Bissau-Guinean(s)
adjective: Bissau-Guinean
 

Ethnic groups:

African 99% (includes Balanta 30%, Fula 20%, Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%), European and mulatto less than 1%
 

Languages:

Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
 

Religions:

Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 10%
 

Population:

1,693,398 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
 

Age structure:

0-14 years: 39.8% (male 336,053/female 337,270)
15-24 years: 20.2% (male 169,574/female 172,221)
25-54 years: 32.1% (male 270,432/female 273,053)
55-64 years: 4.7% (male 29,112/female 50,083)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 21,236/female 34,364) (2014 est.)
population pyramid:  
 

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 79.1 %
youth dependency ratio: 73.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 5.2 %
potential support ratio: 19.3 (2014 est.)
 

Median age:

total: 19.8 years
male: 19.3 years
female: 20.3 years (2014 est.)
 

Population growth rate:

1.93% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
 

Birth rate:

33.83 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
 

Death rate:

14.54 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
 

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
 

Urbanization:

urban population: 43.9% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 

Major urban areas - population:

BISSAU (capital) 423,000 (2011)
 

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
 

Maternal mortality rate:

790 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 7
 

Infant mortality rate:

total: 90.92 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 5
male: 100.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 80.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
 

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 49.87 years
country comparison to the world: 221
male: 47.87 years
female: 51.93 years (2014 est.)
 

Total fertility rate:

4.3 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
 

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

14% (2010)
 

Health expenditures:

6.3% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 99
 

Physicians density:

0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
 

Hospital bed density:

1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
 

Drinking water source:

improved: 
urban: 96.1% of population
rural: 55.5% of population
total: 73.6% of population
unimproved: 
urban: 3.9% of population
rural: 44.5% of population
total: 26.4% of population (2012 est.)
 

Sanitation facility access:

improved: 
urban: 33.5% of population
rural: 8.5% of population
total: 19.7% of population
unimproved: 
urban: 66.5% of population
rural: 91.5% of population
total: 80.3% of population (2012 est.)
 

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

3.9% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

41,300 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
 

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

2,300 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
 

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
 

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

4.9% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 159
 

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

16.6% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 40
 

Education expenditures:

NA
 

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 55.3%
male: 68.9%
female: 42.1% (2011 est.)
 

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years (2006)
 

Child labor - children ages 5-14:

total number: 226,316
percentage: 57 % (2010 est.)

Economy

Economy - overview:
 
Guinea-Bissau's legal economy is based on farming and fishing, but trafficking in narcotics is probably the most lucrative economic activity. The combination of limited economic prospects, a weak and faction-ridden government, and favorable geography have made this West African country a way station for drugs bound for Europe. Cashew nuts are the main source of income for rural communities and the country's main export crop. Cashew sector performance helps to determine the overall macroeconomic situation of the country and food security status of rural areas. In 2013 cashew production and exports were disrupted as a result of the March 2012 coup. Guinea-Bissau is heavily reliant on foreign aid, which has not recovered to pre-coup levels.
 

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.005 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
$1.937 billion (2012 est.)
$1.965 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
 

GDP (official exchange rate):

$880 million (2013 est.)
 

GDP - real growth rate:

3.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
-1.5% (2012 est.)
5.3% (2011 est.)
 

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,200 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
$1,200 (2012 est.)
$1,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 81.3%
government consumption: 13%
investment in fixed capital: 12.9%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 25.5%
imports of goods and services: -32.7%
(2013 est.)
 

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 58%
industry: 13.5%
services: 28.5% (2013 est.)
 

Agriculture - products:

rice, corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
 

Industries:

agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
 

Industrial production growth rate:

1.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
 

Labor force:

632,700 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 154
 

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 82%
industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
 

Unemployment rate:

NA%
 

Population below poverty line:

NA%
 

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 28% (2002)
 

Budget:

revenues: $142 million
expenditures: $157.7 million (2013 est.)
 

Taxes and other revenues:

16.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
 

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-1.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
 

Fiscal year:

calendar year
 

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.9% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
2.1% (2012 est.)
 

Central bank discount rate:

4.25% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 77
4.75% (31 December 2008)
 

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

15% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
15% (31 December 2012 est.)
 

Stock of narrow money:

$242.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
$264.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
 

Stock of broad money:

$338.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
$327.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)
 

Stock of domestic credit:

$173.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
$171.8 million (31 December 2012 est.)
 

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA
 

Current account balance:

-$47.3 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
-$47.4 million (2012 est.)
 

Exports:

$147.6 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
$127.9 million (2012 est.)
 

Exports - commodities:

fish, shrimp; cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber
 

Exports - partners:

India 56.5%, Nigeria 27.1%, Togo 5.9% (2012)
 

Imports:

$206.4 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206
$189.8 million (2012 est.)
 

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
 

Imports - partners:

Portugal 28.8%, Senegal 17.5%, US 7.3%, China 5% (2012)
 

Debt - external:

$1.095 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
$941.5 million (31 December 2000 est.)
 

Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
500.7 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
 
5,000 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 210
 

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.1 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 156
 

Telephone system:

general assessment: small system including a combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and mobile-cellular communications
domestic: fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 50 per 100 persons
international: country code - 245 (2011)
 

Broadcast media:

1 state-owned TV station and a second station, Radio e Televisao de Portugal (RTP) Africa, is operated by Portuguese public broadcaster (RTP); 1 state-owned radio station, several private radio stations, and some community radio stations; multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
 

Internet country code:

.gw
 

Internet hosts:

90 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 211
 

Internet users:

37,100 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 177

Transportation

Airports:
 
8 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 161
 

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
 

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 
3 (2013)
 

Roadways:

total: 3,455 km
country comparison to the world: 161
paved: 965 km
unpaved: 2,490 km (2002)
 

Waterways:

(rivers are navigable for some distance; many inlets and creeks give shallow-water access to much of interior) (2012)
 

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim

Energy

Electricity - production:
 
67 million kWh (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
 

Electricity - consumption:

62.31 million kWh (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
 

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
 

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
 

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

26,000 kW (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
 

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
 

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
 

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
 

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
 

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
 

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
 

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
 

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
 

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
 

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

2,922 bbl/day (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
 

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
 

Refined petroleum products - imports:

2,661 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
 

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
 

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
 

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
 

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
 

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

459,800 Mt (2011 est.)

General

Annual Exports








Top 20 Sectors exported from Kwazulu-Natal in 2014

Visa Requirements

Visa Required: Yes

Period/Purpose: 

Visa Fee: Yes 

Visa Issuing Authority: Embassy of Guinea-Bissau-Dakar

Compulsory Vaccination Requirements: 

Yellow Fever if coming from endemic country or travelled through an endemic country

Recommend Vaccination Requirements: 

Hepatitus A & Tetanus, Typhoid, Cholera & Meningitis

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